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James Green

I would have wanted to know that it was possible to change my sex, and what that would really mean for my life.  I may not have wanted to do it right away, but I think just knowing that it was possible might have made me more able to actualize myself in the world instead of hiding all the time -- or feeling like I was always having to pretend to be someone or something that I wasn't.  Growing up in a female body, but feeling much more like a boy and wanting to grow up to be a man, was difficult because people kept expecting me to stop being myself and become some woman that simply wasn't inside me.  The tension that created for me was often difficult to manage, and I think many young people who experience that tension don't know how to communicate their pain or frustration or confusion, so they sometimes act out in ways that might not be healthy or productive for them.  Whether we end up hiding ourselves or "flaunting" our difference from our peers as part of our statement to the world, I believe we are ultimately just as wounded by our fear of being misunderstood as we are damaged by the inability of the people around us to understand what we are going through.  Because more and more gender-variant or transgendered people are speaking out now about our experience, it makes it possible for young people who share that experience to have a sense of hope that they might find their own place in the world that is different from what others around them expect, and different from what we trans elders have gone through, too.  It is still not easy being transgendered or transsexual, but I have hope that by talking and writing and living openly as transpeople we are creating more safe space in the world for all people to be who they are.

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Last modified: 02/09/09